It’s my second deck guide! Today I’m gonna talk about this deck list, and give you insight into how it plays. But who’s that commander?
It’s Azami, Lady of Scrolls! The statline is nothing to write home about, making her pretty fragile. You won’t be chump blocking much with this lady. That ability though, oh man, it’s crazy stuff.
Tap an untapped Wizard you control: Draw a card.
Very, very nice. Every wizard you control can be tapped to draw a card, at instant speed. One cool thing is that you can even do this with wizards that came in this turn, as it is a cost to activate Azami’s ability, so they’re not actually tapping themselves. We’re gonna make use of this to quickly blitz through most of our deck, drawing silly amounts of cards, locking down our opponents with good instants, and eventually, winning.
I haven’t just chose any old wizards however. They nearly all fall into two categories: ones who can do other stuff by tapping themselves, and ones who have strong ETBs. If you leave these guys untapped, then you can threaten your opponents with their abilties, and use them as you need. They don’t bite? Then at the end phase of the player before you, tap them all for card draw! Lovely stuff.
You might think Naban is a weird inclusion looking at the list, because there aren’t all that many ETB wizards. However, not only does he let us search twice with these two mages, he lets us do some funky stuff with these guys:
Arcanist gets his spellbook increased to TWO cards instead of just one. Meanwhile, the other two can do some fun stuff with the stack:
- Tap them with Azami for a draw.
- Play a wizard.
- Their ability goes on the stack twice because of Naban.
- You let one ability resolve to untap them.
- You put Azami’s tap to draw on the stack.
- Their ability resolves again afterwards, leaving them untapped for a third draw!
You can do this every time a wizard enters too, so you’ll get quite a few draws off of that.
This deck has a huge amount of instants and sorceries to protect us, because our creatures are mainly all shitty 1/1s. They’re not gonna help a whole lot when your opponent is swinging in with thirty dragons, or trying to resolve an omnipotence. I’ve also included a lot of blue removal, which isn’t too common beyond bounce spells, just to make sure we don’t get screwed over. But how do we win?
Oh we have a fair few ways. We can control the board with Galecaster, and then even our small boys can make a big dent in our opponent’s life totals. There’s also a couple of cards that scale in power depending on our wizard count, so they can do a hefty chunk. I’ve included a few mill cards, but Sphinx’s Tutelage can singlehandedly win for us sometimes. Imagine that trigger against a four colour deck… Finally, Psychosis Crawler can just beat down or burn our opponent’s to death if all goes to plan.
Cuts and Upgrades
Some cheap upgrades to this deck are pretty simple, and the only reason I haven’t included them is our budget. Stonybrook Banneret lets us go off with our wizards we draw a lot easier, and Sol Ring is just great ramp full stop.
A lot of cards can be included to make this deck into full blown combo. Dream Halls or Mind Over Matter can let us go absolutely nuts, sometimes winning the same turn we play Azami. All our spells are free, and using MOM we can cycle anything we don’t want in our hand by discarding to untap a wizard, then tapping to draw. It also can let us generate a huge amount of mana if you can think of a colourless win con.
Paradox Engine means every time we cast anything we can use all of our Wizards to draw again. Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir lets us do all of this on our opponent’s turn. Isochron Scepter lets us hide a Dramatic Reversal underneath it to draw our whole deck if we just have a sol ring out.
And then on the instant and sorcery side of things, the classic Mystical Tutor and Cyclonic Rift can make us lots more consistent. Merchant Scroll is also good for this. The list goes on. This deck has tons of upgrades, and nearly all of them transform it into brutal combo. In terms of cuts, I could rationalise dropping any of the wizards for things that will make the deck more consistent, and some of the other spells that aren’t win conditions could be cut fairly confidently.
You might not make many friends with this deck. It’s great control, and the combo win conditions mean that it might not excite every opponent you come across. However, if you have an open minded play group it should be no issue. I can see this dominating casual tables if left unchecked, so a wiser group of players will start trying to knock you out early if you’re not careful. As with all control decks, remember to not always prioritise “curving out” and using all your mana every turn. Sometimes just the threat of a counterspell is as strong as an actual one.
Thanks for reading! See you next week.